Jo Bonney, directing Neil LaBute's 'Break of Noon,' gets a nod from Culture Clash
The director, who previously helmed LaBute's "Fat Pig" at the same venue, has developed a reputation over the years as being especially adept at developing new works. Among her recent new-play productions was "American Night" by L.A.'s Culture Clash, which was commissioned by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival to launch its "American Revolutions: The United States History Cycle." "American Night" premiered at the Ashland, Ore., festival last summer.
In an e-mail, Culture Clash's Richard Montoya said that "you've sort of arrived as a playwright when you have director/writer work sessions with Jo in her Tribeca loft she shares with husband actor Eric Bogosian who pops in with occasional encouragements and a story or two."
Montoya continued: "Surrounded by books from Mao to Warhol one is reminded of their rock & roll theater beginnings[,] and it inspires. In the rough and tumble world of new play development and the fog of rehearsal I could always count on a gentlemanly handshake and a drink at the bar with Jo -- like a kind Richard Harris at the end of a movie -- their accents sounding similar to a Chicano ear. Our West Coast offense clashing with a more refined Manhattan Theater Club approach probably -- nevertheless -- her ear is crucial for new play development as we both endeavored as collaborators to humanize the story of a Mexican Immigrant. New productions at La Jolla and Denver prove that we did something right...."
In our Sunday profile, Bonney discusses how she first started working with Bogosian in the heady days of the early 1980s downtown Manhattan performance art scene.
-- Reed Johnson
Photo: Jo Bonney during rehearsal of the upcoming play "The Break of Noon," which she is directing, at the Geffen Playhouse. Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times